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Dear Honorable Secretary Clinton:
We are writing to ask Your Honor to reconsider the recent decision by the State Department to remove the name of the Diaoyu Islands, an island chain in the East China Sea, leaving only the Japanese name of Senkaku Islands. This decision has caused profound disappointment and sadness among the 1.3 billion Chinese people as well as millions of Chinese-Americans because it demonstrates a complete disregard for the historical facts of this region. This decision is offensive and it has caused us to question whether our country, the United States, still upholds a fair and just value.
As you are well aware, in the last century Japan has inflicted so much harm to China and other regions in Asia causing the deaths and suffering of untold millions. Some of our parents and grandparents were among the perished. Your Honor yourself have repeatedly addressed the “comfort women” historical issue; that by itself is only a small item on a list of crimes and atrocities Japan had committed. Yet Japan has never issued formal apologies to Asian people that it terrorized nor acknowledged those war crimes in its history textbooks.
There are strong signs that the right-wing militant Japanese are gaining strength aiming at the re-militarization to restore Japan’s pre-WWII glory. The State Department’s decision to acknowledge only the Japanese name for Diaoyu Islands is a signal to Japan and the rest of the region that United States supports the incremental steps Japan is taking to gain the military dominance in the region. It would be totally naiveté, to think we can control such development over time. Perhaps it is time for the United States to re-examine its own history with Japan. A re-militarized Japan will again look to its west but this time it will meet hard resistances from both China and Korea; it will not be able to enjoy the easy onslaught as it once did. The logic path for Japan therefore is to venture eastward to claim the vast Pacific Ocean as its backwater. We must be aware that what has happened before will happen again such as the hard lesson of “Pearl Harbor”.
History is a mirror, it reflects and also predicts. Japan has harassed China numerous times in the last 400 years. It has demonstrated over and over that it is an extremely aggressive power and it will always seek every opportunity to invade its neighbors. The United States must be very careful to allow Japan’s re-militarization. We would be making a big mistake to assume otherwise.
Set history aside, we applaud and appreciate Your Honor’s stance on “comfort women” and your articulation to refer the term as “enforced sex slaves”. We know you care.
Many of us Chinese-Americans came over to the United States to escape the sufferings and chaos as the result of Japanese aggression and oppression in WWII. We adopted the US as our new home and in-turn we have devoted our loyalty and service to the land and people we adore and appreciate. We would do our utmost to safeguard our homeland, the United States, to ensure her forever prosperity, not to be threatened by any power, especially not the remilitarized Japan.
Honorable Secretary, we strongly urge you to reverse the decision to re-instate Diaoyu Islands name. We believe this is an irresponsible action on the part of the State Department and it violates American values. Most of all it projects a deep insult to the Chinese people world-wide.
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